Survey Says…

Your Customers: Talking Trash or Making You Cash? Why You Need to Know

Learning what your clients and customers really think about you can be both a fearsome and instructive thing.  But in busy, competitive markets like New York City, it’s crucial to know and understand what your customers are thinking.  Doesn’t it just make sense to locate any problem areas or gaps in Customer Surveyyour customer service you’re unaware of?  The easiest method to get your hands on this type of information is to simply ask them!  Using a thoughtful customer survey can be a great tool to help you learn answers to questions you didn’t know you had!

So why ask at all?

The primary incentive for a customer survey is to head off problems before they become part of your reputation, and find solutions to boost your service or products.  Most of the time, we never hear about a dissatisfied customer: they’ll simply look elsewhere.  CustomerThink.com has discovered that more than half of consumers have experienced issues and complaints with the products and services they’ve purchased.  Creating a survey helps you find and correct mistakes that can be the difference between holding onto a client or losing him/her to the competition.

What sort of survey questions work best?

Make sure you have a clear goal to your surveys, and that you ask questions that require  more than ticking a box, or assigning a number to your query. Avoid “Yes” or “No” questions. Allow respondents to expand on their experiences and thoughts with open-ended survey questions. (This can also be a great way to collect testimonials!)

How should you conduct the survey?

There are a lot of ways to conduct a survey. If possible, however, choose an online survey, which gives the person answering it a decent chance to contemplate and form good responses, something which likely wouldn’t happen through a phone call or face to face encounter. When possible, include an incentive for filling out your survey.

Your first survey and its results will be your baseline for all future surveys.  Based on how frequently you interact with your customers should determine how often you conduct surveys.  You don’t want to be annoying but you also don’t want to miss attitudinal changes that may be impacted by seasonality.

If you need help planning and constructing your survey, consider using a survey company that does much of the heavy lifting for you, such as SurveyMonkey.

For more information about Reputation Marketing, check out our recent blog posting How Does Your Online Reputation Stack Up?

 

 

About Ellen Feinberg